Jeff Hall -- the leader of the Riverside, Calif., chapter of the white-supremacist group the National Socialist Movement -- was found dead at his home on May 1. Police say he was murdered by the 10-year-old son he had successfully won custody of from his ex-wife. Clearly, a case like this raises many questions, but Slate recently answered one of the most important ones: When parents have views like this, can their children be taken away from them?
Custody disputes are decided under the vague "best interests of the child " standard, and judges are allowed to weigh just about any factor -- excepting race, which is off-limits , and religion under certain circumstances. While few judges have assigned custody based solely on a parent's politics, many have mentioned it as a major issue. During World War II, a father in New York was denied custody in part because he had been "contaminated with the germ of Nazism ." Garden-variety racist  parents and sexual libertines have also lost out. Judges typically couch their decisions in terms of the day-to-day negative effects that a parent's unpopular views might have on the child's mental and social well-being, rather than the risk that the child will himself adopt the belief system."
It's pretty clear that having a virulently racist and anti-semitic parent who buys you SS gear  is going to mess with a someone's mental and physical well-being. But do you think hateful views are reason enough to take a child away from a parent?
Read more at Slate .
In other news: Cervical Cancer: Preventable, but Killing Black Women.